Built in 1924, the Hermann Spierer tobacco warehouse has been a symbol of Drama, northern Greece since its heyday as a tobacco production centre. Disused between 1974 and 2016, the building has been transformed into a unique hotel – the Hydrama Grand Hotel – by entrepreneur Manolis Ledakis. This allows it once again to play a part in the city’s daily life.
The Spierer tobacco warehouse was built by Austrian architect Konrad von Vilas for Swiss tobacco merchant Herman Spierer. The 7,500m² building is a listed monument of early inter-war industrial architecture with imposing processing halls and tobacco drying areas.
Over €15 million of funding for its transformation into a hotel was secured from the 2007-13 National Strategic Reference Framework’s ‘Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship’ programme. This included a national contribution of €1.2 million and EU funding of €6.8 million. Further finance came from private capital and a loan from the Investment Bank of Greece under the EU’s JESSICA financial instrument.
“Despite all the difficulties and obstacles we faced during the construction phase of the project, the work has been completed and the hotel now represents an adornment for the city and the region, and a pole of attraction for visitors from Greece and abroad,” says owner Manolis Ledakis.